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Feb 7 2023

Employee Survey Skeptics Might Have a Point

What's your main reason for distrusting employee survey data? The recommendations arising out of the data are so impractical, costly, or unfeasible that they can’t support be supported without more, better, or ...
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Mylena Sutton - Are you afraid to practice?

Jan 19 2023

Are You Out Of Sync With Your Team?

Are You Out Of Sync With Your Team? Your business is constantly evolving and being in values-based alignment will position you to meet the growing needs and expectations of your employees, partnerships, ...
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Consulting Firms

Jan 5 2023

It’s Time

Leaders, It's Time.... Recently, I had a conversation with the executive director of a nonprofit that took an interesting turn. We went from talking about dealing with conflict to “how long do ...
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Employee doesn't respect or trust me

Jul 6 2022

I Can’t Believe They Said That!

Has an employee ever told you that they don’t respect or trust you? Yes No View Results  Loading ... If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate position where a key employee hit ...
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Mylena Sutton - Are you afraid to practice?

Jan 11 2022

Are You Afraid To Practice?

In everything that we do in life, we know repetition helps us get better (regardless of your position on the nuances on the 10,000 hours rule. If you don’t know what I’m ...
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Jan 3 2022

Do You Trust Blindly, SMARTly, or Not At All?

The authors push you to reconcile your assumptions about the trustworthiness of people with the idea that your trust default position significantly impacts your relationships: essentially, your own biases and predispositions affect ...
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Nov 18 2021

You Don’t Have to Fall

Often, I lament that people don’t have hobbies and passions anymore. It seems that everything has turned into a vehicle to make money, become some sort of influencer, or strengthens one’s career. ...
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Descend a Mountain

Oct 28 2021

Don’t Descend a Mountain w/Someone who Doesn’t Know What They’re Doing

I hope you’re planning a good weekend…This past weekend, I went hiking twice. If you’ve never bested a mountain, you don’t know joy! ---------------------------------------------------------------   On Saturday, I took an older couple ...
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Camp Club Getaway

Sep 10 2021

Camp Club Getaway: Adult Summer Camp!

I hope you had a good weekend! Over Labor Day Weekend, I stepped into a version of myself that I’ve always admired: I attended adult summer camp at Camp Club Getaway in ...
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storm clouds

Aug 24 2021

Leadership is Risky

I hope you had a good weekend - I did.   This past weekend, I set out for a bike ride on Saturday morning. If you live in the northeast, you know we ...
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Jul 12 2021

Teamwork OFF the Clock

The majority of time, I do my outdoorsy stuff alone because I can be a bit self-centered: I want to go when I want to go, stay as long as I want, ...
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Jun 16 2021

My Juneteenth was May 10th

One of the things that I never share with people who aren’t family (and I don’t share this with all of them) is that it bothers me that my family has always ...
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Mar 16 2021

Make Conflict (Management) An Everyday Thing

Most people hate dealing with conflict! It’s uncomfortable, takes time, and frankly, it’s often low on the priority list. Seriously, each of us can think of other things we’d much rather do ...
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Mar 8 2021

So, You Think Your Boss is Retaliating Against You

Other person: I think my boss may be retaliating against me. Me: ↓↓↓↓....................... (Yes, I said all of this!) Is this problem really retaliation?  To begin, you should be careful about the ...
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Dec 16 2020

5 Checklists to Get Your People Aligned for the New Year

Take the beginning of the year to set the tone about what matters to you and your team!  If you take all five steps, you’ll even set aside time for check-in throughout ...
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Dec 16 2020

Identities WITH Benefits

If you don’t celebrate Christmas or want to participate in gift exchanges, what is it like for you at work from Thanksgiving until the New Year? If you celebrate Christmas and its ...
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Nov 1 2020

In the Grip of Chronic Stress

Three Things to Know about People and Stress that will Help EVERYBODY at Work People behave differently when they are operating under stress. Their best bet for working through stress comes from ...
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Oct 14 2020

Influencer: Conflict Management Series (3 of 4)

Have you ever seen a leader at a stand off with their team about something that the leader asked or told them to do, but the team has refused to do? Rarely ...
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Oct 12 2020

Reasons better than, “It’s the Law” to do Anti-Harassment Training

If you only provide anti-harassment training because it satisfies risk management or compliance obligations, it’s time to shift your perspective! If you see it as a “check the box” thing, you’ll convey ...
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Oct 7 2020

Books and Podcasts for Leaders

Did you know that studies tell us leaders exceed their goals when their colleagues and direct reports describe them as having great emotional intelligence or good people skills? Data also tell us ...
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Sep 24 2020

Yes, Sexual Orientation is Protected

This past summer, the SCOTUS issued a decision that impacts how employers treat sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. The decision addressed three legal cases all at once, and they ...
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Sep 9 2020

Announcing “They”

Why? Because necessity is the mother of adoption, and while debate about the word may seem new, singular they has been on an “inexorable forward march...” Time Magazine, January 17, 2020   ...
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Aug 24 2020

I’M DONE! …Giving Up on an Employee

Which employee are you most likely to give up on first? _______________________________________________________________ Employee 1: Can’t Do: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities You have an employee on your team who has great energy and ...
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Aug 19 2020

Are you a Coach, Supervisor, or Deadbeat Parent?

Think about most of the leaders that you've worked with....would you say that you've worked with more As, Bs, or Cs? a) coaches (They help you figure out what's in your way ...
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Jul 23 2020

When The Leader Won’t Lead

Note: our blog posts are written to be inclusive of gender-nonconforming and non-binary people; thus, you will see the pronoun “they” in many places where you would traditionally see he or she. ...
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Jul 22 2020

Paternalism is a Fail in Employment, Including During Covid

What does it mean to be a fair leader?  What does it mean to be an empathetic one? Consider this situation.   You are conducting interviews and one of the applicants is ...
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Jul 14 2020

Because of COVID “I don’t feel safe” (Part 2 of 2)

Key “Compliance” Employee Return to Work Issues. Click for resources on each of these. FYI, these rules apply to public, private, and nonprofit employers.   1. An employee says,  I don’t feel safe ...
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Jul 14 2020

Lead Them Back To Work (Part 1 of 2)

Your team, maybe your entire organization, just took a major hit, but you need to get them back on track. You know they are skittish,justifiably so. You also know that you have ...
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Jun 30 2020

Crucial Accountability: Conflict Management Series 2 of 4

This review of Crucial Accountability is the second of four extended reviews covering the Vital Smarts books, which also include Crucial Conversations, Influencer, and Change Anything.  This focus of book is to ...
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Jun 25 2020

Is it culture or “just checking the box”?

How does your team know the difference between a true organizational value and things that “management and HR” require simply because they want to look better just in case the organization is ...
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Jun 4 2020

Silence is NOT Golden

Note: this message was originally designed to be a video, but due to circumstances beyond our control, it's now presented as text.   It matters that YOU (you personally, not your your ...
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Apr 20 2020

Don’t schedule the meeting until you can answer this question: 3 Tips Remote Employee Engagement

Don’t schedule the meeting, virtual or in-person, until you can answer this question: “What do I want people to think, feel and do after the meeting?” Studies tell us that leaders think ...
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Apr 2 2020

Rapid Fire Change and Self Care for Leaders

Self Care for People Like You - Who Run Teams or Work Solo and Need to Pivot to Survive and Thrive   Rapid sudden change is to leaders what a sudden heart ...
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Mar 18 2020

I had an “IN OFFICE” team last week; Now, it’s REMOTE!

What a Difference a Day Made. 24 little hours. Can we say that again! Who would have thought that we would be in a situation where, nearly overnight, a group of more ...
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Mar 18 2020

Leader-Managers in a Crisis

A crisis could almost be defined as any problem that we don’t have ready answers for that is going to have a significant impact no matter how we respond. It is the ...
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Mar 15 2020

This is How the Fight Started…And Why It Keeps Going

Want to see a fight at work?  Easy! Just add one of these. Want to see a civil war at work? Add more than one.  Perceptions of unfairness, including perceptions of favoritism.  ...
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Mar 1 2020

What’s Your Next Move? Your Team Plays Anticipatory Chess

What do you think these 10 statements and questions represent?   1) Formal discipline and public acknowledgements: how often you give either and as a regular of what types of triggers? 2) ...
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Feb 15 2020

Crucial Conversations and Emotional Intelligence

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said. Peter Drucker Some years ago, I wanted to create some videos. After a lot of hunting, I found a great videographer ...
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Jan 30 2020

What Went Wrong?

Wells Fargo managers interviewed women and people of color for already-filled jobs to make it look like they were trying to boost diversity, Joe Bruno says. A Dollar Tree in Indiana is ...
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Jan 14 2020

The Key to Getting the Most from your Leadership Consultant

If you’re an experienced leader in an organization, I bet you have at least one story about engaging an external consultant and not getting exactly what you’d hoped for. In all likelihood, ...
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Jan 3 2020

You’re The Expert On Your Work Experiences!

What do you really believe about the workplace? More specifically, what do you believe is the purpose of work, the role that work plays in our lives, and what makes for a ...
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Dec 15 2019

Does Your Team Have a Holiday Wish List?

I talk to employees to nearly everyday. Interestingly, it often seems like employees are unhappy, some sort of complaint, or a wish for a more perfect workplace. Broadly, the frustrations are as ...
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Dec 11 2019

Please Be Advised: December 2019 Compliance News

New Jersey Salary Ban:  January 1st! On January 1st, 2020, New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act law goes into effect.  Essentially, the new law prohibits an employer from an applicant ...
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holiday party dress code

Nov 30 2019

Can I enforce a dress code at the holiday party?

People think all work bets are off when they are not on the clock or at their desks. Whether for good or bad; they are wrong. Anything that connects an employee to ...
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holiday slow down

Nov 15 2019

The Holiday Work Slowdown

Can you really get meaningful productivity out of employees in November and December? While it may seem counter-intuitive, the November - Mid January holiday season is an excellent time to get work ...
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Nov 6 2019

Uh oh! My Manager Received a Harassment Complaint

One of your managers receives a harassment complaint. Do they know what to do? While harassment complaints are never welcomed, they should be anticipated by your organization’s policies. Not only should your ...
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The MBTI, Teams, and EI

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, also known as the MBTI, is probably one of the most well-known personal assessment tools available. Whether someone completed the assessment while in college many years ago ...
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Oct 15 2019

APPOV: Disengagement Begins with Small Things

Each week, I volunteer to count money for an organization. Since I have been doing it, it seems like there is a complaint every week about mistakes. The person who relays the ...
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Sep 30 2019

The Consultant’s Dilemma

One of my greatest stressors as a consultant is ending the project. Sometimes, I stress more than others, but I always stress and it’s about the same thing: will this project die ...
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regina - appov

Sep 15 2019

APPOV Leadership: Regina

Regina is the kind of leader who you don’t see coming. She’s the leader of my church ladies fellowship group. Get this: I don’t actually attend her church. Nope. Not at all. ...
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team hiking

Sep 1 2019

Analyze this True Story with Your Team: The Hiking Trip

Context: I’m part of a meetup group whose purpose is to get people who don’t normally hike to try getting out into the great outdoors. Because of our mission, our activities are ...
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Aug 15 2019

21 Signals that It’s Time to Quit!

Professionally-speaking, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to terminate someone. Although that experience took place quite some time ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. ...
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Aug 1 2019

APPOV Leadership: Stacey

If you are perceptive enough, you’ll see signs of excellent and failed leadership everywhere you go. Whether good or bad, you can spot it, if you’re looking for it. This is especially ...
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Oct 17 2018

Leadership Requires Courage

"I am convinced that courage is the most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently." ~Maya Angelou One of the best ways to get ...
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Oct 4 2018

Why Culture Matters

“Organizational culture matters!”  Few people argue against this assertion. However, many of the same agreeable people are at a loss about how to create or change culture even as they describe the ...
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Jul 9 2018

Money ISN’T Everything, but Free ISN’T Cheap

Confession: I have a client who can’t afford to pay my regular rate. I don’t work with this client often because, well, money. As a self-employed person, money matters to me in ...
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Apr 9 2018

The Culture Crocodile

The Culture Crocodile When I provide training to organizations, particularly large organizations, I make note of aspects of the organization’s culture. While some elements of an organization’s culture take time to understand, ...
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Mar 28 2018

The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit:  Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way By Michael Bungay Stanier This book marries basic coaching principles with Charles Duhigg’s, The Power of Habit.  Stanier’s effort to make ...
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Mar 20 2018

What are Your Team’s Habits?

THE POWER OF HABIT:  WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO IN LIFE AND BUSINESS by Charles Duhigg When we think about organizations, we are more apt to engage in conversations about culture ...
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Feb 20 2018

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

In this book, the fact that Gladwell’s academic work includes sociology is apparent. Oddly, his work reminds me of Freakonomics which is an economist’s work to evaluate the answers to questions that ...
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Jan 27 2018

101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees by Peter Falcone

This book is most useful to new supervisors, individuals new to human resources, and seasoned managed who don’t want to admit that HR is not their cup of tea.  The book offers ...
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Jan 17 2018

What I Know For Sure: 5 Things Teams and Leaders Need

1. Individual team members need to know that their specific needs won’t be crushed or ignored. They need to see a path forward with respect to contributing to the team’s goals and ...
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Jan 16 2017

Crucibles of Leadership

Crucibles of Leadership by Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas Such transformative events are called crucibles - a severe test or trial. Crucibles are intense, often traumatic - and always unplanned. ...
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Jan 11 2017

Nine Commitments to a Better 9-to-5 in 2017

Life is funny in that things start to move in a complementary direction once you are clear about your goals and take responsibility for overcoming inertia. Essentially, once you get started, it’s ...
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Jan 11 2017

7 for 2017: Resolutions for HR Professional

The dawning of New Year brings a symbolic opportunity to reflect and refocus.  The month of January represents a free pass to give voice to what we know can be improved upon ...
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Independent Contractors

As I speak with other small business owners whose businesses are growing, they often share that they need help to keep all of the balls in the air.  They just can't do ...
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Commit to Win

I decided to read this book as a way to inform my perspective on failure. I was interested in information about  why people fail to achieve the goals, particularly, the ones they set ...
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Connect for Power

They think you're alright, but they don’t like you.  They don’t like you because they don’t FEEL like they can relate to you. Intellectually, they know you’re okay, but there's nothing that ...
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8 Perspectives on Happiness On and Off the Clock

Personal leadership doesn't begin and end at work.  Whether you are responsible for guiding others or simply managing yourself, leadership is not a work that merely takes place in the professional realm ...
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5 Key Components of Team Building

As I think about team-building, it is really leadership; and leadership is really about finding ways to motivate your team. I think much of it is captured in Steve Forbes’ point about ...
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The Answer To How is Yes: Acting On What Matters

This book is an excellent tool for reflection and contemplation. In this vein, the book attempts to achieve the following: 1) Prompt a discussion on personal values. 2) Force the reader to ...
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MOJO: How to Get it, How to Keep It How to Get It Back If You Lose It

by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter When I first started reading this book, I failed to recall that I’d actually attended a workshop lead by Mr. Goldsmith. Several years ago, I attended ...
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Rebel within the Lines!

Can you rebel within the lines and have productive and positive relationships with your employer and co-workers?  How you do manage not becoming completely stifled or crushed by organization culture so that ...
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The Work of Leadership

By Ronald A. Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie This article is included in the Harvard Business Review's 10 Must Reads on leadership. The Work of Leadership makes clear the intersections between itself ...
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Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

The book looks at change by evaluating how individual changes are the avenues and mechanisms by which larger systemic changes occur. While many books on change talk about change at the organization ...
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What is “offensive?”

Organization leaders usually aren't excited to talk about workplace harassment. No surprises there. The subject makes many people uncomfortable.  The topic makes all manner of employees, managers and staff alike, uncomfortable because ...
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Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace

I decided to read this book because I was looking for a different way to discuss bullying in the workplace. The connotation of bullying challenges adults because it is most often associated ...
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Dec 23 2015

Draw Your Boxes

You teach people how to treat you!  Yes, you do, even that person who is mean or rude! There are two types of boundaries that you need to set early on in ...
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Nov 15 2015

Distinguishing yourself from your work

In a society where most working professionals spend so much of their time at work, going to and from work, thinking about work or planning how to leverage their current work to get ...
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What Leaders Really Do?

What Leaders Really Do? by John Kotter (featured in On Leadership) Many organizations are over-managed and under led. Management and leadership must balance each other; neither is preferable or better. Companies should ...
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Discovering Your Authentic Leadership

Discovering Your Authentic Leadership (included in On Leadership) By Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer Although there are many singers contributing to the leadership chorus, you must develop ...
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My Archenemy brought the Doughnuts!

Listening to #NoHigherHonor by #CondoleezaRice (#audiobooks rock!).  I don’t think I ever fully thought about what it must have been like to be her. Admittedly, the extent of my thoughts about her ...
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On Leadership: What Makes an Effective Executive?

by Peter F. Drucker An easy read full of simple truths that are challenging to implement. The article puts forth eight practices as critical guideposts that all executives must respect in order ...
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How to Manage a Team of B Players

by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic It isn't often that leaders and managers flatly state concerns about managing B-Level Players. Often, concerns about the capabilities of B-rate team members are masked with discussions about engagement ...
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Jul 15 2015

Searching for the Landing Strip

Do you feel like you need to start coming in for a landing relative to how you want to spend the rest of your professional life?  Whether you're trying to figure out ...
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Managing Transitions

I liked the book because of the way it began, by putting forth two different concepts of change. On one hand, the book captures change as the new direction, focus or need ...
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Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Professional Identity

By Ella L.J. Edmonson Bell and Stella M. Nkomo This book is far from an easy read.  In fact, and perhaps because of my personal demographics, I found it to be a ...
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The Little Black Book of Success…Laws of Leadership For Black Women

Written by three African American women who have faced wide-ranging professional challenges, The Little Black Book of Success:  Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda ...
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The Five Temptations of a CEO

The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni is a really quick read.  In the span a a few short hours, I was able to finish it. Decidedly, I'm going to ...
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What is Leadership?

Why we want leadership:    -Leadership is the simultaneous management of chaos and progress. -Leadership is the ability to see through dysfunction to create a plan. -Leadership is possessing and leveraging enough influence to rally the moral ...
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Gung Ho

The book focuses on three principles for effective management:  1)  The spirit of the squirrel (knowing that everybody's contribution to the work is valuable and that there are consequences if it doesn't ...
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Reflections on Leadership

As I think about team-building, it is really leadership; and leadership is really about finding ways to motivate your team. I think much of it is captured in Steve Forbes’ point about ...
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TouchPoints by Douglas Conant and Mette Norgaard

This book is a very easy read that can be completed over a weekend.  As I read it, I couldn’t help but think about the countless numbers of managers that I encounter ...
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Why Should Anyone be Led by You?

This article is included in HBR 10 Must Reads ON LEADERSHIP which is a paperback compiling ten different articles on, well, leadership. Overall, ON LEADERSHIP is a useful read because it seeks ...
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On Leadership: What Makes a Leader?

This article makes the case for emotional intelligence (E.I.). Although this article was initially published in 1998, the information continues to be valid and relevant. This being said, there are still people ...
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17 Leadership Lessons from Saul and David

I recently read the story of Saul and David from the Old Testament (I Sam 27 – 30) and walked away with these priceless gems of leadership.  Perhaps I don't see what ...
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What’s the goal of your feedback and communication?

The team-building activity and on-going conversations described in the video below.  Although the activity is simple, it can be used in two ways.  On one hand, it could be used as an ...
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Is a “powerless” supervisor “useless”? I recently saw this video, Grievances Brought Up with a Powerless Supervisor, on Facebook and found it amusing.  After watching it, I performed a decidedly UNSCIENTIFIC survey of people to learn ...
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Living the 7 Habits: The Courage to Change by Stephen Covey

Recently, I was teaching a harassment workshop and made a point to the attendees that quid pro quo harassment was generally easy to understand; however, it was the hostile work environment harassment ...
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